What to do, see in the updated Oakland Center

This summer, the Oakland Center has experienced many changes. But there is confusion about what exactly has changed and how it affects the average student. Below is a list of the top five things students should keep in mind when visiting the Oakland Center to get a bite to eat this academic year. 

 1. The most popular concept in the Oakland Center is Panda Express. Plan accordingly. 

Mark McCormic, the Resident District Manager of Chartwells, stated the reason is because “they have strong brand recognition, fast service and really ‘craveable’ products.’”

With over 4,000 meals served per day in the Oakland Center, it’s advised that students arrive early if they want to get in and out of the building as quickly as possible. Richard Fekel, the Director of the Oakland Center, says that this is fairly common for the beginning of the year, but advises for students to plan accordingly when stopping for lunch.

2.  Your favorite places haven’t disappeared. Chances are, they’ve just been moved around.

Last year, many students speculated about the future of 

Bumpers Game Room. Part of Chartwells original pitch for the 10 year contract included adding another concept to Bumpers.

“It still has the pool tables and games for the students,” McCormic said. “But [now] it also includes pub style grub like pizza, sliders, wings and nachos. It has been a hit.”

3. The changes aren’t over yet. 

“The Bear Cave will have eight video game centers, four on each side, and each Xbox will be connected to the Internet. We’re just waiting on the MAC addresses to get those in place,” Fekel said.

Another major change students may have heard about is the concept of “transfer meals.” This year, the cap was increased to five meals a week, and commuter “block plans” now have unlimited transfer options, according to McCormic.

McCormic also confirmed that next summer, portions of the upstairs Vandenburg Cafeteria will be renovated and updated. “Plans are in the works as we speak”. 

Lastly, there will be a final concept added this October. Smoky Paws, a barbecue food truck, will be on campus. 

 4. If you don’t like something in the food court, there are ways to fix it.

According to James Zentmeyer, Chartwells will host its first town meeting of the year soon. These meetings, which started in the latter half of the last academic year, are used by Chartwells in the Vandenburg Cafeteria to get feedback from students about the problems they’ve encountered.

“There’s also the Text-to-Solve program,” McCormic said. There will be table tents in the Oakland Center and Vandenburg Cafeteria where students can find the number and send out a text message if any product is low quality, or if something could be done differently.in the Oakland Center,” McCormic said. “We’re always happy to hear from our guests.”

 5. There is a reason for the chanting in the Oakland Center concepts.

Though these chants are not planned events, Fekel says that the chants stem from the intense training requirements that the brands have, and the teamwork required to get tasks accomplished.

“The chants between Panda and Chick and Moe’s show the excitement everyone has and pulling the students into the enjoyment,” Fekel said.